Road Records was a popular Dublin record shop, but alas, it did not prove popular enough among people who actually bought records and now it has closed. It closed last year as well, but re-opened after a benefit gig raised enough money for it re-capitalise itself, but now it is gone for good, a victim of the shift of the young people from record purchases in shops to downloading or buying things online. I think the shop may also have taken its eye off the ball a bit when it came to picking stock and not done itself any favours with a focus on the lamer Dublin music scene - but then, what would I know? You've seen the rubbish I consider good music – now imagine if I was in charge of stocking a record shop.
As a final farewell to the much liked Dave and Julie who ran the shop, some Dublin musicians organised a farewell concert for them in the Button Factory, to raise a bit of cash that will hopefully help them through the slump that must surely follow the shop's closure. And I was there. The one band on the bill I actually wanted to see were Female Hercules, lured out of retirement to rock out one last time. But before them we had two guys on laptops (or one guy on laptop and one guy on drums – still a prodigious feat of balancing, I'm sure you'll agree). I do not recall their name or what kind of music they made (edit: they were Legion of Two - see comment below), but they were followed by Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands, basically some bloke making doomy electronic music. He was surprisingly Goth. If you are a member of Frank's APA then I refer you to my inamorata's zine for further details.
Female Hercules are (or were) a local swamp rock band with possible psychobilly influences. They still rock out, albeit in a slightly older way. I love them whenever I see them, though I accept that their appeal is a bit niche. One of the truly great things about them is their lead singer and guitarist, who has a great white-man fro hairstyle – oddly reminiscent of that boasted by well-known musicologist and Trio Scordatura leader Bob Gilmore. Many have commented on how the two have never been seen in the one place together at the same tyme*.
The Redneck Manifesto were last on, basically headlining the affair. They are a real fixture on the local music scene, but amazingly I had never managed to see them before. They play instrumental rock music (which seems to be the gold standard for bands of their generation), perhaps with the vaguest African tinge to it. They are however a bit more showy than some of the other Dublin post-rock bands, with their ubiquitous bassist Richie Egan acting like a miniature cheesy frontman.
The Rednecks are an odd band – for the first track or two, I was thinking "Wow, these guys are amazing, to think I could have been seeing them every night of the week for the last ten years!". By the third or fourth track, however, I was starting to register the fundamental Redneck Manifesto problem – all the songs sound the same. Maybe I was just imagining things, maybe I was a bit *tired* and unable to register the subtle variations in their music, but it did seem like we were getting the same funky rock tune over and over and over. OK, so it sounded like a good tune, but I rapidly got the idea. So what did I do? Why, what any red-blooded man would do – I made my excuses and left.
So farewell Road Records. I hope they are the last of my favourite record shops to close, though I fear I am doomed to further sadness on this score.
*I was going to include pictures of Bob Gilmore and the guy from Female Hercules but chickened out of it, for fear that one or other of them would start thinking that I was some kind of crazed stalker fan.
An inuit panda production